It's been one of those weeks where I'm spending a lot of time trolling Tumblr, reading fanfic and writing it too because I feel like sticking my head in the sand and generally speaking my imagination is the go to place to do that. Tumblr has a...reputation for social justice and real world issues, but this is the kind of week where I pretty much just skip right on past that. Not because I don't generally agree, or don't care. Because I care too much and it tends to make me a person I don't particularly like and I don't care to subject other people to without cause.
There's been a lot of news about fandom lately, between the sort of general run-around about Supernatural and Sherlock series 3, and that always jars me because I still exist in a head-space where the internet is it's own little corner, it's own section of society that still doesn't like to talk to the rest of them. Which is probably a function of my age more than anything else.
Someone on Tumblr linked an article--which I'll do as well here in a second--about Sherlock and it's slightly crazy fans. If she'd have just linked the title I probably wouldn't have followed that particular white-rabbit. Very few things have the ability to actually annoy me like articles on the internet about things I care about.
"The proper way for cultural mythmaking to progress, it is implied, is for privileged men to recreate the works of privileged men from previous generations whilst everyone else listens quietly. That’s how it’s always been done. That’s how it should be done in the future, whatever Tumblr says."
--Laurie Penny, Sherlock and the Adventure of the Overzealous Fanbase.
I highly suggest you click on the linky and go read, she's got some really good points, some that I don't necessarily agree with, but that's neither here nor there. I have this...internal twist when it comes to fandom, and I've never really explained it because I can't, it doesn't always make sense to me. But I feel like trying today, so I'm sorry but buckle up and I'll try not to make it too bumpy.
When you talk about fandom, whether it's the movies you like or the fanfiction you read or...anything, there's a certain ownership implied there. Sometimes it's quiet and a little ashamed, sometimes it's that false-bravado twenty year old's excel at that's shouting from the rooftops because I'm awesome and anything I love is awesome too and the rest of you can just go hang. Either way it's yours. And I love that. I'd give nearly anything to write the kind of stories people get that emotionally involved in.
The problem is that it's yours and sometimes you forget that it's someone else's too. This happens more in Doctor Who than nearly anywhere else I've seen in fandom. People have that one Doctor they love above all the rest, or that one companion they just can't stand. Sometimes, if you offer a dissenting opinion to that you'll open yourself up for an earful about all the ways you are wrong wrong wrong. You can't possibly be a Doctor Who fan if you only watch Ten, if you stopped because you don't like Matt Smith, if you --insert ridiculous attempt to impress my fandom ownership/head-cannon onto you here.
Fandom's full of problems, because it's full of people and for better or worse that's something human beings are good at. And that's not even broaching whether Moffat's a woman-hating arse, or Misha Collins' is a wank of epic proportions, or any of that.
Laurie Penny makes some good points, about men in their ivory towers wanting fiction to stay on their terms, wanting their creative vision left alone (that's an over-simplification, I know) but I'm going to make a contrary one, because I get a little tired of feeling like every single conversation about a show or book's creation is whopping me over the head with King Solomon metaphors, complete with evil executives in striped ties wielding giant swords cackling 'Let's cut it in half and see which one of them really loves it.'
Nearly every show or book I like, there are problems. Not enough diversity, not enough female characters that might actually live to the end of the episode with some inherent value to the plot, not enough guts to go the full monty--figuratively speaking--with whatever idea they're broaching the side of, etc. But that's what it feels like to me. That's part of why I write and read fan-fiction, because there's something I need that's almost there but it's not. I absolutely have every right to that, to my feelings and my desires and whatever else I'm wrapping into that package. What I don't have a right to do is tell somebody else what to do with their creative vision, not like that, not ever. Not with other fanfic writers, or people who write original content, or draw cartoons, or role play, or code video games, or make origami frogs to hop across their kitchen table.
If I want somebody to respect my right to creativity, I have to respect theirs too. No matter how stringently I think those two people are secretly in love with each other.
That was seriously long and I'm going to go back to hiding in my corner again until next week. Oh, and possibly post pictures of the mine-craft scarf I finally finished (YAY)